If you want to make your website better at turning visitors into customers, you need to understand why most of your visitors are leaving!
However, visitors who leave your site come and go without a trace, so how you know what they wanted? How do you know what would have persuaded them to take action?
If you owned real-life-bricks and mortar store, this would be easy: you’d hear their objections. You’d be able to ask questions. You’d hear what they incomprehensible as they headed for the door.
Capturing the voice of the customer is more difficult with the web, but it can be done. Here are 14 tools to get you started!
Web analytics software is essential for understanding your visitors. It tells you detailed statistics about the visitors to your website—where they came from, and which links they clicked on once they arrived.
Despite being free, Google Analytics is surprisingly sophisticated, and it is sufficient for most websites.
Once you have fixed the more obvious problems with your website, it’s time to carry out some usability tests on qualified prospects—that is, people who actually visit your website.
You could do this by asking existing customers to carry out usability tests, and that’s often a good idea. However, your customers have already used your website, and, by definition, they managed to overcome its shortcomings. Asking your customers whether they like you can be the same as asking your spouse if he or she loves you. Of course—by definition!
Ideally you want to interview your visitors who aren’t customers yet. That’s where Ethnio comes to the rescue.
Ethnio provides an easy way of adding a pop-up survey to your website. The survey asks your visitors if they’d like to participate in a usability test. You can customize the survey, so you can ask them details about themselves, such as why they visited your site and whether this is their first visit. You’ll probably have to offer them a small cash incentive for participating in your tests. People’s willingness to participate depends on which type of market you’re in; visitors to some types of website, such as financial services, tend to be particularly reluctant to start a conversation. In other markets, visitors love to get involved.
ClickTale refers to itself as being “in-page web analytics” (as opposed to other analytics software, which is largely concerned with movement between pages). ClickTale is similar to Crazy Egg but in addition measures keystrokes and movement of the mouse. It has several useful functions:
- Want to watch movies of your visitors’ screens as they use your website? ClickTale allows you to do that too. You can view each visitor’s browsing session as a Flash video. (There is a limit to how many videos can be stored.) It may sound impossible, and ever-so-slightly creepy, but it’s true. It’s as if you were looking over their shoulders. You can even see their cursor and their keystrokes.You can choose which video to watch, based on attributes such as visitors’ country of origin, how much time they spend on the site, or the number of pages they visited. You may choose to watch videos of visitors who appear to be struggling—for example, those who visit the same page several times.
- Study how people are interacting with your forms. ClickTale has five reports that allow you to see how visitors are interacting with your forms. For example, the Drop Report shows you the percentage of visitors that dropped out at each field while filling in a form; knowing this information will allow you to fix the form fields that are losing you customers.
- Get a feel for how people use websites. ClickTale is not a substitute for carrying out usability tests, discussed farther down this page. However, watching a few videos will give you a better idea of how people interact with websites. You can watch the videos at high speed too (up to ten times normal speed).